Emerging tick disease Babesiosis is spreading

Babesiosis is a parasitic disease spread by ticks that occurs primarily in the Northeast and Midwest, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The parasites usually settle in mice and other rodents, giving ticks the opportunity to feed on the infected animals.

Here’s what else you need to know about the tick-borne disease spreading through parts of the US

What Are the Symptoms of Babesiosis?

While many people with the disease show no symptoms, others develop the following flu-like symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sweat
  • Headache
  • Pain in the body
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

For the immunocompromised, the disease can be more severe or deadly.

Why has babesiosis become so widespread?

The disease, which used to be very rare in the U.S., became so widespread due to rising temperatures and the growing deer population in the Northeast and Midwest, according to The New York Times.

How can babesiosis be treated and prevented?

Antiparisitics are usually the standard course of treatment for these types of infections in symptomatic patients. However, according to the CDC, asymptomatic people usually don’t need treatment.

Babesiosis can be prevented by avoiding tall grass and overgrown areas and wearing long pants and tick repellent. You can also check for ticks daily to make sure the ticks are not nesting and transmitting parasites.

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Katherine Rodriguez can be reached at krodriguez@njaadvancemedia.com. Do you have a tip? Tell us nj.com/tips.

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